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Memorable Manitobans: George William Northwood (1877-1959)

Architect, war hero.

Born Ottawa, Ontario, 1877, son of William Northwood, he was educated the Ottawa College Institute and McGill University (Montreal). He commenced a career as an architect with K. Arnoldi of Ottawa, in 1900. He came to Winnipeg in 1905 and established an architectural firm. He married Gussie Simpson of Thorold, Ontario the next year.

He designed many Winnipeg buildings before 1914, including the Northern Crown Bank and the Dominion Bank of Canada. He also had a business interest in the Manitoba Linseed Oil Company and National Securities Company. With the outbreak of the First World War, when he went overseas with the 8th Battalion. Captured by the Germans in 1915, he returned to Winnipeg in 1918 as a major, having been awarded the Military Cross. He established the firm Northwood and Chivers, which designed the Civic Auditorium (now the Archives of Manitoba building) and the Federal Building on Main Street.

From 1931 to 1933 he was Dominion superintendent of unemployment and farm relief. He was a Chairman of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba (1943-1948). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1938. He was President of the Manitoba Association of Architects (1923) and the Manitoba Club (1931-1932). Later in his life he was President of the Northern Canadian Mortgage Company.

He died at Winnipeg on 15 December 1959 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Ryan Block

44 Princess Street, Winnipeg

1906

 

Northern Crown Bank

654 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

 

Guest Block (expansion)

596-598 Main Street, Winnipeg

1909

 

Miller House

42 Balmoral Street, Winnipeg

1909

 

Mrs. F. M. McDonald Residence

555 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1909-1910

 

Wellington Apartments

264-276 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1910

 

Phoenix Block

388 Donald Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

Columbia Block

853-857 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

S. E. Richards Residence

638 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1911

 

Richards and Brown Warehouse

132 James Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

 

Ulrich House

54 Balmoral Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Finnie and Murray Block / Western Glove Works

321 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Mrs. R. J. Whitla Residence

151 Yale Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Benard House

40 East Gate, Winnipeg

1912

 

Charles W. Gordon Residence

54 West Gate, Winnipeg

1913

 

Provencher School (repairs)

320 Avenue de la Cathedrale, Winnipeg

1923

 

Winnipeg Skating Club

51 Smith Street, Winnipeg

1924

 

St. Agnes Priory

442 Scotia Street, Winnipeg

1924-1925

 

Smith House

111 Park Boulevard, Winnipeg

1925

 

St. John Cantius Roman Catholic Church

852 Burrows Avenue, Winnipeg

1925

 

McKellar House

225 Lamont Boulevard, Winnipeg

1926

 

Collett House

69 Middle Gate, Winnipeg

1926

 

Tuxedo School No. 1709

2300 Corydon Avenue, Winnipeg

1926-1927

 

Canadian Wheat Board Building

423 Main Street, Winnipeg

1928

 

Greater Winnipeg Gas Company Building

265 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg

1930

 

Women’s Tribute Memorial Lodge

200 Woodlawn Street, Winnipeg

1931

 

Queenston School

245 Queenston Street, Winnipeg

1931

 

Winnipeg Civic Auditorium

200 Vaughan Street, Winnipeg

1931-1932

 

Banfield Block (renovations)

492 Main Street, Winnipeg

1933

 

Bank of Toronto Building

420 Academy Road, Winnipeg

1933

 

Federal Building

269 Main Street, Winnipeg

1935-1936

 

Women’s Pavilion

735 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg

1950

 

Sources:

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“George W. Northwood dead at 83,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 1959.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

George William Northwood, Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950.

We thank Nathan Kramer and Christian Cassidy for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 July 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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